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"In hoc signo vinces (In this sign, conquer)."
―An Abstergo Industries executive, on the Templar's insignia, 2012.[src]
Templars

The Templar insignia

The Templar insignia, based on the Mark of Cain, is the symbol of the Templar Order. It consists of a red cross pattée on a white or a black and white background. Because of this, it is often called the Red Cross, or simply the Cross.

History

Prehistory

The Children of Cain, the earliest known incarnation of the Knights Templar, used Cain's brand mark as their insignia after it was given to him as punishment for killing Abel.[1]

5th century BCE Greece

The Cult of Kosmos used the likeness of the Medusa's head as their insignia, using serpent symbolism to counter the eagle symbolism connected with their foe, the Spartan misthios Kassandra.[2]

Ptolemaic Egypt

The Order of the Ancients used an ankh version of the Mark of Cain accompanying a serpent wearing the Pschent double crown as their insignia.[3]

High Middle Ages

During the High Middle Ages, the Knights Templar were a fully public order, and their soldiers wore the insignia freely on their uniforms.[4]

Renaissance

By the time of the Renaissance in Italy, the Templars had gone into hiding and adopted more secretive tactics. As a result, their insignia was no longer displayed publicly, but was instead used only on relatively innocuous items, such as Templar rings.[1]

American Revolution

During the American Revolution and the subsequent war, the Templars remained a secretive organization, and as such the tradition of displaying their insignia on relatively small and inconspicuous items continued.[5]

French Revolution

By the French Revolution, the Templars maintained their practice of hiding the symbol from the public by limiting its use to small items such as Templar pins or only displaying it behind closed doors, such as the secret Templar office in François-Thomas Germain's shop. However, there were exceptions where individuals openly displayed the symbol, as was the case with Chrétien Lafrenière's religious regalia, which relied on the Catholic church's wide usage of the symbol to deceive people on the true meaning of his crosses.[6]

Industrial Revolution

During the Industrial Revolution, the Templars once more displayed the insignia in public in the form of the logo for Crawford Starrick's corporations and his associates such as the Blighters gang. The high ranking Templars wore the insignia in the form of mantels and arm bands.[7]

Modern times

By the modern era, the Templars had largely removed themselves from the public eye completely; only certain members of Inner Sanctum of the Templar Order wore rings with the insignia displayed on them, even when amongst their brethren.[5]

Renditions

References

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